Where to look for work experience

Every year hundreds of USW students undertake work experience, whether they are short one-week experience up to a year-long sandwich placements.

  • Company visits and insight days – visit an organisation to gain an insight and understanding of the variety of roles on offer.
  • Work shadowing – observational activity allowing you the opportunity to gain first-hand experience of a specific role.
  • Short term work experience/internships – 30 -70 hour placements, 10 week internships and 3 month placements, that can be offered on a flexible basis.
  • Live projects – negotiated pieces of work, either undertaken on an individual or group basis.
  • Industrial work experience/internships – up to 12 months duration, typically taken as the penultimate year of study.
  • Volunteering – ideal for some placement modules as well as building skills and experience. 

Understand what you are trying to look for first

It is much easier to find yourself an opportunity when you know what you want to do.  If you aren’t sure, speak with your academic tutor or with a careers advisor first.  You may be interested in working with a specific company who’s values and ethos matches yours.  If this is the case, you can be flexible with what you are willing to do with them.  You may also find that if you branch out, opportunities you hadn’t thought of considering will become available.  It is important that you find a work experience which will fulfill the assessment criteria in the module which requires you to go out on work experience, so make sure that this is your priority.

Speak to academics

Academics and course tutors will have their own links with employers and organisations that may be able to offer you a work experience.  Go and have a chat with them to see what they can suggest.

Build relationships over social media

Connect with your favorite companies on Twitter, Instagram and/or Linkedin.  Like and comment the posts that interest you.  This will help you start to create a relationship with them before you ask them for a work experience opportunity.  Connecting with them across social media also creates stronger relationships for when you are ready to look for graduate employment.  Have a look at our guidance on creating a Linkedin and social media profile.

UniLife Connect

There are plenty of opportunities waiting for you on Unilife Connect.  We have narrowed the opportunities down specific to your degree.  Have a look at our resources page.  Remember that we are available for a one to one if you want to ask more specific questions. 

Other websites

Have a look at our resources for extra help to get you started.  In addition, find out about any suitable work experience opportunities that may be available via your course or faculty.

Attend Careers Fairs and employer talks

We have industry specific events, general volunteering or career events and employer in the foyer.  You can meet potential employers for real-life engagement in these situations.  

Get your CV ready

Some work experience opportunities are more competitive than others, so make sure you use our CV guidance to help you get yours in it’s best condition.

Target directly

If you know who you want to work for, search key words like ‘careers’, ‘jobs’, ‘work with us’, ‘get involved’ or ‘vacancies’.  If there are no tabs or pages with these words in, go to the ‘contact us’ information (usually at the bottom of the page) and record their email address and telephone number.